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#1 SanderO

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 10:24 AM

Yikes,

Some women just got me on the phone and tried to get me to purchase NYCB tix for their winter season. Fine and dandy. So I asked who is dancing in what? I like to select ballets and see principals. I've done that with the ABT.

She says NYCB does not announce casts until the day before a performance. Could this be? If so, it sure puts the emphasis on the choreographer and not the dancers. If this was not true.. the NYCB has a rather aggressive marketing approach. In either case, I am turned off.

One thing I do like, these days, is becoming familiar with a dancer, especially with the benefit of the comments on BT and then going to see these dancers to see what I see. Do I agree do I see something else? BT is full of discussions about dancers and that is one of the draws for me, not JUST the ballet and the choreography and the sets.

She told me to go for a single ticket the day of the performance.

What gives with this NYCB marketing? Is this approach new?

#2 carbro

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 10:43 AM

No, your telemarketer is wrong. NYCB announces casts about two weeks in advance (which you can confirm by checking the threads in the archived NYCB forum). This is inestimably a step in the right direction. In the old days, casts were rarely announced until three or four days before the start of the week.

I don't subscribe (exception: the season of the Boal & Soto retirements, when both were on the same series). I rarely buy my tickets before I have casts -- as much to avoid the dancers I don't like as to catch the ones I do. This is not a problem for a denizen of the 4th Ring. However, if you desire a 1st, 2nd or 3rd Ring location, it can be. Pickings are better in the Orchestra than in the lower rings.

One of the differences between most NYCB performances and most ABT ones -- at least in Lincoln Center -- is that most NYCB programs offer a half dozen or more principal dancers every evening. It is very different than making an evening-long commitment to one pair of principals.

Also, I have an ironclad policy of never giving my credit card number to anyone who calls me by phone. They likely can't prove that they are who they claim. If I want what they're selling (or asking for), I'll get in touch with them.

#3 Farrell Fan

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 10:53 AM

But yes. in the old days, the emphasis was on the choreographer, one G.B.

#4 Helene

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 11:04 AM

When I attended regularly in the '80's and '90's, there was a weekly cast list posted in the lobby, which many of us pondered and which was the basis of our attendance strategy for the week. That in addition to the occasional interview or article which listed who was dancing what ballet, plus the inevitable guessing game we played. "Heather Watts has owned the lead in Agon, so I bet she's doing it again this year."

I used to subscribe to both Sunday night series -- the extra Sunday was usually some type of special program, like the Dancers' Emergency Fund benefit at the end of the winter seasn -- because they took away the Sunday night blues. The rest of the week was more strategic, filling in casts that I hadn't seen, seeing favorite ballets again.

ABT always listed casts months in advance in a big ad in The New York Times. The Bolshoi website generally lists casts when it publishes, again months in advance. The Royal Ballet's press release for the 2007-8 season listed casts almost a year in advance for end-of-season ballets. Paris Opera Ballet gives a list of those scheduled to dance the principal roles (ex: http://www.operadepa...cle.asp?IdS=397 ) currently through calendar year end.

Regional companies in the US are mostly on the staggione system and don't often show casting until a couple of weeks before the opening of a given program. But you start to guess who will dance opening night and which matinees are likely to feature a younger dancer in a debut. (Saturday matinees at NYCB used to be noted for this.)

#5 bart

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 12:03 PM

But yes. in the old days, the emphasis was on the choreographer, one G.B.


Regional companies in the US are mostly on the staggione system and don't often show casting until a couple of weeks before the opening of a given program.

I also grew up with the no-casting-in-advance policy at NYCB. It's interesting that Villella, at Miami, does not post casting ahead of time (at least not where I've ever found it). I wonder if the older philosophy of going to see "the work" primarily is still alive at MCB. And anywhere else???

#6 papeetepatrick

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 04:17 PM

I used to be in favour of this late announcement of casting, although now that it's brought up, I realize I never applied it to myself. I always got tickets for specific performances once I knew who was dancing. I thought that it probably had the desired effect, though, because most would have to cooperate with not knowing who the casts were and this gave a special aura to the company--but more in the past than now. I don't even think it adds anything to the experience at this point. That aura and mystery are just not there in the same way, and I would be just as happy if they announced exactly as ABT does by now.

#7 kfw

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 04:34 PM

When I attended regularly in the '80's and '90's, there was a weekly cast list posted in the lobby

I kinda miss those days, even though as an out of towner it is nice now to plan NYC visits based on casting. As I remember it, at least when I first saw the notices in the late 80's, they were simple, unadorned typewritten sheets, sometimes with handwritten changes. Many less print-oriented folks than myself probably passed them by after the performance without noticing.

In this Internet age we get so much information so easily, and that's a treat, but back when it was harder to come by, the pleasure was sweeter.

I hope Alexandra will chime in on this thread, because I believe she has a nice story to tell about the name of this site.

#8 hbl

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 11:05 PM

I like the idea that the company is driven by the Works and not the Dancers. The post the casting at least the week before on the web site and in the lobby. We have 2 subscriptions (both Thursdays night series) and often buy extra tickets or end up trading in tickets if we have a conflict or will be out of town. We might purchase some extra tickets to see a favorite ballerina (Maria Kowroski currently) dance in something new or special. But that is not usually the driving force - the ballets are. I will want to see anyone at NYCB dancing Agon. Or 4T's. Or mostly any of the Balanchine and Robbins works. I would also do that for some Martins work (Barber Violin Concerto for example) and certainly most of Wheldon and many of the other young and new choreographers that have most recently been shown (Elo for example). Not that I don't have my favorite dancers. But the driving force is always the ballet, not the dancer. That is always a secondary consideration - as I think it should be.

ABT is much different in that they promote their star system and people go to see specific principal dancers much more than at NYCB. Also, ABT does mostly full length evening story ballets (which I am not particularly fond of) and you are pretty much stuck with the specific stars for the entire evening.

At NYCB they usually have many shorter ballets and have many of their principal dancers performing on any given evening. That is part of the joy. And an even bigger joy is seeing a young dancer being given a principals role. It happens many times every season - and that can be as much fun and as enjoyable as seeing one of the principals.

They have often plucked dancers out of the corps to do major principal roles. I believe Sara Mearns dance the principal role in Swan Lake while she was a corps dancer. And they had chosen a young SAB student to dance Julliet in R&J! Unfortunately she was injured and a young corps dancer had to take her place.

I can recall many dancers who as corps members danced in principal roles - eventually becoming soloists and then principals. In fact I would guess that is true of all of the principal dancers. Young dancers at NYCB seem to be given a chance to strut their stuff. And I love that about the company.

#9 BSS

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 06:22 AM

I like the idea that the company is driven by the Works and not the Dancers. The post the casting at least the week before on the web site and in the lobby. We have 2 subscriptions (both Thursdays night series) and often buy extra tickets or end up trading in tickets if we have a conflict or will be out of town. We might purchase some extra tickets to see a favorite ballerina (Maria Kowroski currently) dance in something new or special. But that is not usually the driving force - the ballets are. I will want to see anyone at NYCB dancing Agon. Or 4T's. Or mostly any of the Balanchine and Robbins works. I would also do that for some Martins work (Barber Violin Concerto for example) and certainly most of Wheldon and many of the other young and new choreographers that have most recently been shown (Elo for example). Not that I don't have my favorite dancers. But the driving force is always the ballet, not the dancer. That is always a secondary consideration - as I think it should be.

ABT is much different in that they promote their star system and people go to see specific principal dancers much more than at NYCB. Also, ABT does mostly full length evening story ballets (which I am not particularly fond of) and you are pretty much stuck with the specific stars for the entire evening.

At NYCB they usually have many shorter ballets and have many of their principal dancers performing on any given evening. That is part of the joy. And an even bigger joy is seeing a young dancer being given a principals role. It happens many times every season - and that can be as much fun and as enjoyable as seeing one of the principals.

They have often plucked dancers out of the corps to do major principal roles. I believe Sara Mearns dance the principal role in Swan Lake while she was a corps dancer. And they had chosen a young SAB student to dance Julliet in R&J! Unfortunately she was injured and a young corps dancer had to take her place.

I can recall many dancers who as corps members danced in principal roles - eventually becoming soloists and then principals. In fact I would guess that is true of all of the principal dancers. Young dancers at NYCB seem to be given a chance to strut their stuff. And I love that about the company.




Your comment about the young student is some what correct Mr Martins picked 4 students one an apprentice Ms Erica Pereira she performed the lead role of Juliet in Peter Martins' 2007 production of Romeo + Juliet. I was in NY at the time she did both shows and all i can say is WOW if she is any gauge on the talent at NYCB the company has no worries about being the one of the premier companies in the world!!!!!!!!! Ms Pereira was wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!! :wink: :clapping: Right after her final performance she was made a corp member and we hope to be seeing her this season!!!!!!!!! in Romeo + Juliet



BSS

#10 Mel Johnson

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 06:35 AM

I can remember the City Center days for NYCB, when even the program ran from a wild guess to a matter of opinion, never mind the dancers.


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